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By David S. Alberts, Thomas J. Czerwinski

Surroundings THE SCENE the straightforward and the advanced (Murray Gell-Mann) the United States on the earth at the present time (Zbigniew Brzezinski) COMPLEXITY conception and nationwide safeguard coverage advanced platforms: The function of Interactions (Robert Jervis) Many rattling issues at the same time: Complexity idea and global Affairs (James N. Rosenau) Complexity, Chaos, and nationwide SecurityPolicy: Metaphors or instruments? (Alvin M. Saperstein) The response to Chaos (Steven R. Mann) COMPLEXITY idea, procedure, and OPERATIONS Clausewitz, Nonlinearity, and the significance of images (Alan D. Beyerchen) Complexity and association administration. (Robert R. Maxfield) Command and (Out of) keep watch over: the army Implications of Complexity thought (John F. Schmitt) Complexity idea and Air strength (Steven M. Rinaldi) Chaos thought and U. S. army method: A "Leapfrog" process for U.S. protection coverage (Michael J. Mazarr)

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The appropriate responses could readily be calculated. Quite the opposite is the case today, however. If there are enemies to be contested, challenges to meet, dangers to avoid, and responses to be launched, we are far from sure what they are. So uncertainty is the norm and apprehension the mood. The sweet moments when the wall came down in Berlin, apartheid ended in South Africa, and an aggression was set back in Kuwait seem like fleeting and remote fantasies as the alleged post-Cold War order has emerged as anything but orderly.

14 At the same time, in the process of changing as they adapt, systems co-evolve with their environments. Neither can evolve in response to change without corresponding adjustments on the part of the other. On the other hand, if a system is unable to adjust to its environment’s evolutionary dynamics and thus fails to adapt, it collapses into the environment and becomes extinct. To return to the NATO example, the Organization managed from its inception to co-evolve with the Cold War and post-Cold War environments despite internal developments such as the 1967 defection of France from the military command and external developments such as the demise of the Soviet Union and the superpower rivalry.

Even if political analysts are not—as I am not—tooled up in computer science and mathematics, the premises of complexity theory and the strides in comprehension they have facilitated are not difficult to grasp. Despite our conceptual insufficiencies, we are not helpless in the face of mounting complexity. Indeed, as the consequences of turbulent change have become more pervasive, so have observers of the global scene become increasingly wiser about the ways of the world and, to a large degree, we have become, each of us in our own way, complexity theorists.

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